Background and Objectives: To use social media effectively, we need to identify and apply the implications of supportive theories using social media. Different learning theories provide a variety of interpretations of learning. Different learning theories lead to diverse orientations and outcomes in curriculum planning. Therefore, learning theories serve as a framework for guiding decisions during the design and implementation of the curriculum. The aim of this study was to identify the types of learning theories that support the use of social networks and to analyze learning theories on social networks in order to provide a theoretical basis for designing curricula.
Methods: For this study, qualitative content analysis method was used. The statistical population of this study consists of all valid documents related to the subject- supportive theories of learning in social networks- from 1995 to 2018 (n=30) selected based on purposeful sampling. The content of 30 documents were analyzed. The analysis unit is the theme. To analyze the findings, the main and sub-classes were extracted after open coding. To ensure the validity of the research, the methods of review by members, triangulation of data sources and review by colleagues were used, and to ensure reliability, the agreement method between the two coders was used.
Findings: The findings showed a variety of context-based, community-based, and person-centered theories that support learning on social media. The findings also include four main categories: It showed the dimensions of social networks, network interactions, types of learning, and curriculum elements. It was shown that network communication in social networks includes social interaction, interpersonal communication and interactive communication with admin and teacher-student communication, which is broad and based on community sharing, central agreement and based on sharing ideas. Types of learning on social networks include; network learning, situational learning, problem-based learning, personal learning, and indirect learning. Elements of the curriculum include; network objectives, network content, network learning environment, network inclusiveness, and network evaluation. Network Objectives; features such as unpredictability, divergence, unpredictability, variability, nonlinearity, flexibility, value, reproductive and interactive. Network content has some features such as distributed knowledge, multiplicity of resources, reliable resources, accessibility, context-based knowledge, shared knowledge, inclusive knowledge, self-centered information, voluntary knowledge creation, interchangeable content. The network environment includes technical and educational features. Among the technical features of this environment, we can mention the diversity of language, the existence of communication tools, the possibility of customizing the message and simulating communication. The educational features of this environment also include; being rich is one of the tools of knowledge management, situational awareness, personalized information, open and flexible environment. The network learner is knowledgeable and up-to-date, independent and active, able to do several things together. The network learner is an actor, and social agent who processes, publishes, and manages knowledge on a regular basis. Evaluation on social media is a nonlinear process, formative, conscious, and continuous that is accompanied by the elimination of standard rankings and tests.
Conclusion: Based on the research results, it is suggested that those in charge of education use the coordinates of social network-based curriculum elements to design a curriculum based on social networks. For further research it is suggested that researchers implement the findings in an experimental environment to take a positive step towards the optimal use of social networks to learners’ learning outcome.
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